Nurse’s care, dedication to snowed-in client recognized

LPN Taelor ‘Wonder’ Wimmer is National Ever Forward Caregiver Champion

Nurse’s care, dedication to snowed-in client recognized

“Is it really as good as they say?”

Years removed from a nursing role at a clinic, Taelor Wimmer walked into Good Samaritan Society – Home Care in Indianola, Iowa, and asked the question.

“Never did home health until I got here,” says Wimmer, who was getting back into nursing after raising her twin girls to school age.

Wimmer says she quickly “figured out this is where I belong.”

“Every day that I’m out there seeing people and helping them and being that support they need in the home, it’s a good day for me. I love it.”

Taking her role as a home health caregiver seriously for more than a year, the licensed practical nurse spends her day on the road traveling dozens of miles to clients. Spending time with people where they live, Wimmer prioritizes building relationships with those she serves.

“It is important because we serve so many people,” says Staci Good, Society administrative staff manager. “We try to keep them safe, and in their home, as long as possible.”

‘Wonder Wimmer’

Sometimes that’s easier said than done. Last winter, one of Wimmer’s clients was snowed in after several days of severe weather. Located out in the country, the house is often the last to see a plow.

“It had been over five days, and she was concerned that (the client) was not able to get any personal care services and the nursing services that week,” says Society administrator Kara Cline.

The person lived on their own and Wimmer remembers it being a “scary situation.”

With no access for Society staff, or emergency services for that matter, Wimmer took matters into her own hands. Fortunately, her husband’s truck had a plow blade.

“Talked him into helping me out to plow,” Wimmer says about the two clearing the client’s road and driveway.

“I knew (the client) needed us. (They) needed to be able to have somebody get to (them).”

Good adds, “now, she probably would have done it by hand if she needed to just to make sure the patient was safe.”

These efforts are just part of the reason why Wimmer is being named the Good Samaritan Society’s National Ever Forward Caregiver Champion.

“She’s an everyday genuine person and our superhero in disguise,” Cline says. “We coined her as Wonder Wimmer.

“She does not falter with her compassion. It’s not, ‘it’s a rainy day; I don’t feel like doing that for my patient.’ It’s an everyday thing.”

Being lifted up as a national award winner was not on Wimmer’s radar.

“Honestly, I don’t feel like I deserve this,” Wimmer says. “I didn’t do anything extraordinary. I didn’t do anything out of my normal everyday life that I wouldn’t do for somebody on the street.”

‘Not just a nurse, she’s a friend’

Just down the street from the Society’s Indianola home care office, client Cherrie Bass has been seeing Wimmer for more than a year.

“Taelor does deserve this award because she’s not just a nurse. She’s a friend,” Bass says.

Struggling with several health issues, Bass can get worn down visiting clinics outside her apartment. It’s why she treasures every visit from Wimmer.

“It’s like having your own little private medical session without having to go out. I don’t like to get out,” Bass says.

Bass adds it makes her feel “safe, secure, I don’t have to stress out about going to the doctor.”

Resident Rose Wikoff lives alone in an independent living apartment at Good Samaritan Society – Indianola.

“She’s had a lot of loss in her life,” Wimmer says. “I don’t want her to feel like she doesn’t have that support or that family or that connection.”

Not only does Wimmer help Wikoff with her medications, but she also comes through in other ways.

“She’s understanding. I just love her to pieces,” says Wikoff. “I couldn’t have asked for a better friend. She’s helped me a lot because I’ve been through a lot.

“She’s there for you, she thinks about you and she loves you.”

Wimmer puts it this way: “I want you to feel comfortable in your home. So, if I can make you feel comfortable with me, make you feel like you’re part of my family, that’s what I want.”

‘Our team, we’re like family’

A former nursing home assistant director of nursing as well, Wimmer is hoping to grow in the nursing field moving forward. Teammates are encouraging her to pursue her RN.

In the meantime, the home health team in Indianola is going to celebrate their award winner.

“This kind of gives us all goosebumps and gives us those good feels of she really deserves this,” Cline says.

They’ll also continue to care for clients wherever they’re called to do so.

“Good Samaritan is in our name,” Wimmer says. “Being in health care, you’re automatically a Good Samaritan because you’re willing and want to help people.”

“Our team, we’re like family. Everybody has their own different personalities; everybody brings something different to the table. The way that we work and get along I don’t feel like I’m coming to work when I come into the office.”

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Posted In Awards & Recognition, Nursing and Nursing Support, Sanford Stories, Senior Services